by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Japan’s Justice Ministry said March 26 that it has begun issuing marriage-eligibility certificates to Japanese citizens who plan to marry someone of the same sex in a foreign country where same-sex marriage is legal.
Japanese citizens are required to obtain the certificate before marrying a foreigner abroad – submitting information about both parties such as name, birthday, sex and nationality.
The latest version of the certificate will confirm that an individual is single and of legal age.
Gay activists said the change also means Japanese gays will be able to bring a foreign spouse to live with them in Japan.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden (starting May 1) and the U.S. states of Connecticut, Iowa (starting April 24) and Massachusetts.